tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC October 15, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
>> thanks for watching tonight. bye, bye. tonight, the dramatic fall from grace. the man once second in line to the presidency, tonight, his decision. possible prison time now after charges over alleged hush money. years after he was a popular high school wrestling coach. breaking developments today. the president reversing course. keeping more american troops in afghanistan than he once said. the race for 2016. and joe biden tonight, what he's now saying. and donald trump and ben carson seeing eye to eye. their new demand, otherwise threatening to skip the next debate. chaos at american airports. tens of thousands of passengers held up. the computer glitch involving the terror watch list. from dallas to washington to new york. and attention holiday shoppers. the huge setback for walmart tonight that could spell major deals for you. the four bargains you might see.
good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night. and we begin with that dramatic fall. a bombshell decision from a man who was once one of the most powerful men in washington. former speaker of the house dennis hastert. and a move that could keep his secrets from coming out in open court. signaling he will plead guilty in a criminal case. prosecutors accusing hastert of paying hush money to hide misconduct. that misconduct going back to his time as a high school teacher and popular wrestling coach. abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross on hastert's move, the prison time he might now face and the family tonight saying, the truth is out. >> reporter: the decision today by 73-year-old dennis hastert to plead guilty means there will be no trial, and none of his dark secrets will be exposed in open court. >> mr. speaker. >> reporter: but in exchange, the former speaker of the house, once second in line to the presidency, may spend time in prison, the first speaker ever
to do so. the charges against hastert grow out of his role as a popular illinois high school wrestling coach in the 1970s. authorities say hastert sexually abused several teenage boys on the team, and then a few years ago, began to pay one of them more than $1 million in hush money to keep quiet. >> these boys were 14, 15, 16 years old. >> reporter: jolene burdge told abc news her late brother, steven reinboldt, was one of hastert's victims, something she learned years later, she says, when her brother told her he was gay. >> i asked him, "stevie, when was your first same-sex experience?" i mean, he -- he just looked at me and said, "it was with dennis hastert." and i just -- i know i was stunned. i said, "why didn't you ever tell anybody, stevie? he was your teacher, why didn't you ever tell anybody?" and he just looked at me and said, "who is ever going to believe me? in this town, who is ever going
to believe me?" >> reporter: for years, jolene burge tried to expose what dennis hastert allegedly did. and today, she said, even if there is no trial, the world now knows what kind of a man dennis hastert is. >> he'll plead out and try to make this go away as quickly as he can. and he can do that, but the truth is out. >> reporter: authorities say what tripped up hastert was the recent effort to pay off his victim. he's charged with violating bank laws for the way he handled his huge cash withdrawals, and then lying to the fbi about them. he's expected to plead guilty to one of those two counts, either one of which, david, usually results in time behind bars. david? >> brian, thank you. next tonight, to the other developing headline today. a reversal from president obama on afghanistan. revealing he will now keep far more troops there, beyond 2016. that means as many as 5,500 troops will still be there, instead of the 1,000 he had planned. some of the young faces right here tonight.
all of this comes amid growing concern about the taliban strengthening. and the recent deadly u.s. air strike on a doctors without borders hospital. tonight, we have new images of the aftermath at that hospital, and the president's explanation. why troops will now stay in much larger numbers. abc's chief global affairs correspondent martha raddatz. >> reporter: the 9,800 american troops in afghanistan today were supposed to start coming home after 14 years of war, and more than 2,200 u.s. forces killed. but today, a somber president obama put a halt to that drawdown. >> i've decided to maintain our current posture of 9,800 troops in afghanistan through most of next year. >> reporter: and that won't end it. as many as 5,500 will remain into 2017. president obama has been promising for years that america's involvement in afghanistan would end. >> this year, we will bring america's longest war to a
responsible end. >> reporter: he made the same promise in iraq and did withdraw. isis then swept through large swaths of the country and u.s. forces are back. in afghanistan, with the taliban gaining ground, and isis becoming a threat, today's decision means u.s. forces can keep targeting extremists, and assisting afghan forces. aiding afghan forces is what led in part to the tragedy earlier this month in kunduz, shown in these new images. u.s. strikes were called in, mistakenly hitting a hospital, leaving dozens of patients and staff dead or missing. >> and martha raddatz with us live tonight from our washington bureau. and martha, we already heard the president apologize after that strike at the hospital, but do we know anything more about the strike, given the doctors without borders had given authorities their coordinates? >> reporter: they had, david. and officials have said unequivocally that u.s. forces would not have intentionally targeted a hospital. so, clearly, the so-called rules of engagement were not followed.
they're trying to find out why not and where that breakdown happened, but we should have answers soon. david? >> martha raddatz with us again tonight. martha, thank you. we turn now to breaking news out of malaysia. word of an arrest that could involve the personal information of u.s. service members. the department of justice tonight announcing a suspected hacker from kosovo under arrest now for helping isis. authorities saying he stole personal information belonging to u.s. service members and federal employees. the u.s. now trying to extradite him back to america. we turn now to the race for 2016 tonight, vice president joe biden asked point blank today, can you just tell us when you'll decide? the clock, of course, ticking for the vice president, as today, a prominent democrat who once said he should follow his heart is now saying, it's time to decide. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl with how biden answered today. >> reporter: joe biden was in full v.p. mode today. at the president's side in the morning, and then, awaiting the president of south korea in the afternoon.
but what about the big question? >> are you running for president? >> i will answer in korean. >> reporter: can you just tell us when you'll decide? >> i can't hear you. >> reporter: okay. >> i'll tell you what -- good to see you all. >> reporter: a source close to biden says he's nearing a final decision. although after hillary clinton's strong debate performance, fellow democrats are growing increasingly impatient. senator barbara boxer, a clinton supporter, who in august said biden should do whatever is in his heart, is now telling politico, "i just don't think there's a rationale for his campaign. i think he should endorse hillary." and today, clinton got a big endorsement from a member of the obama/biden cabinet. housing secretary julian castro, widely speculated as a possible clinton running mate. >> she has always, always been there for us and today, we're here for her. >> reporter: so, what is biden thinking? his younger brother, frank, told "the palm beach post" today,
he's having a, quote, dialogue between his head and his heart and he's not being swayed by outside factors. >> the waiting game continues. jon karl live at the white house tonight. and jon, i wanted to show everyone at home this image from one of the past republican debates. ben carson there on the left, of course, donald trump. and word tonight that carson and trump are now threatening to boycott the next debate? >> reporter: they are, david. they are making demands to change the debate format. for one, they want the republican candidates to get a chance to make opening statements. the democrats had a chance to do that in their debate. so far, republicans have not. and they also want to limit the time to the debate to two hours. if those conditions are not met, they say they will boycott the debate. >> all right, to be continued. jon karl tonight. jon, thanks, as always. next tonight, to a computer crash, leading to long lines at several airports here in the u.s. that crash involving the terror watch list. tens of thousands of passengers affected. images from dallas there, but this extended to washington, new york, boston and beyond. here's abc's david kerley
tonight. >> reporter: part of the critical security system that checks those coming into the country slowed to a crawl, leaving thousands of travelers in line. >> they just said there was a nationwide computer glitch. >> reporter: more than 20,000 passengers affected at customs. >> it's crazy. i never saw anything like this. >> reporter: the system problem coast to coast, affecting international airports. was this a security threat? >> i don't think so. they do have redundant systems in place to ensure that bad people can't come into the country. >> reporter: the problem? those redundant systems are slower, which is why, for those thousands of travelers, it was a wait. >> we needed to fill out some forms, old school style and, so i filled out the form. >> reporter: the customs and border protection computer problem lasted for 90 minutes. it took longer for the lines to disappear. each day, 300,000 passengers pass through the country's airports. customs and border protection tells us there's no indication this was a security breach or a hack. and that the backup systems worked here at dulles and elsewhere to make sure passengers were properly screened.
david? >> david, thank you. next, the national weather service tonight out with the new winter forecast this evening, predicting this year's el nino will be among the strongest on record. what that could mean for all of us here in a moment. but first, to the immediate weather headline at this hour, record heat and drought fueling raging wildfires in texas. tonight, the fire burning across 4,000 acres, forcing 400 families from their homes. a state of emergency tonight, and several homes already burned to the ground. abc's clayton sandell on the scene. >> reporter: military helicopters helping take on a blaze that in 24 hours exploded in size. burning at least nine homes to the ground. the governor declaring a state of disaster. >> this has to be an echo of a nightmare that they faced just a few years ago. >> reporter: in 2011, the most destructive blaze in texas history leveled more than 1,600 homes near bastrop and killed two people. it is hot and dry here now, even after record rainfall just this spring. more than 400 homes evacuated.
>> there's nothing you can do except pray. >> reporter: and david, you can see these large military helicopters have been dropping water on the smoke and the fire. all day, thousands of gallons. they've made lots of progress, but there's still lots of work to be done. david? >> all right, clayton, thank you. let's get right to rob marciano, tracking the heat and the drought and it doesn't look good. >> reporter: no, and that part of texas, david, incredible heat. record heat for this time of year. and going to be hot again tomorrow. 92 degrees today, 91 in austin and plus, gusty winds to the north. that's part of a very strong cold front that is going to bring an end to the growing season for a good chunk of the u.s. freeze watches and warnings from north dakota to michigan, even down to indianapolis. look at chicago tomorrow morning. 33 degrees. we spread the cold to the east on saturday. the freezing mark in detroit, 34 degrees in d.c. and yes, there's going to be snow around the great lakes. >> first taste of winter. in the meantime, el nino, you were in the newsroom today saying this forecast is interesting. >> reporter: yeah, noaa releasing its winter forecast and el nino a big driver. we're going to see a lot of storms across the southwest.
so, cooler and wetter than normal across most of the south. and after two very harsh winters, there's a good chance, david, that the northern states may get a slightly warmer than average winter. >> i'm going to try to hold you to that. rob marciano. great to have you. next tonight, to the case of parents behaving badly, making national headlines tonight. the children now paying the price. one school canceling the season. here's abc's matt gutman. >> reporter: tonight, this youth football field deserted, the season cancelled. >> this year, it got kind of bad with the parents fighting and yelling from the stands. fist-fighting. >> reporter: we've seen parents behaving badly in other towns. even fighting. this one, caught on exclusive video from our san diego station kgtv just weeks ago. and that's what happened in mt. pleasant, but then, officials say, things took a darker turn. officials first rescheduling a game because of anonymous threats, and now, this week, bullet casings found at the field gates, with the names of officials and coaches written on them. >> i have no idea where it's coming from, but it's got to stop.
the kids have more sense than the adults here. >> reporter: as for those kids, they don't have playoffs this year, but they do have a lesson for their parents. >> this is not the way to handle situations. usually, the way to handle stuff like this is just stay calm. >> reporter: it's still a mystery who left those bullet casings on the field, but we have learned that parents are being interviewed about the incident. of course, the real victims in all of this are those kids who don't get to play in their super bowl this year. david? >> matt gutman with us again tonight. matt, thank you. now, to a headline involving social security tonight. the government saying that social security recipients will get no cost of living increase next year. those annual raises tied to inflation, but inflation is down because of falling gas prices. the decision affecting nearly 65 million americans including retirees and the disabled. and to another headline that will affect millions of american shoppers tonight. it involves walmart. the retail giant now expecting lower earnings next year. the value of that stock plunging on the news.
the biggest stockholders, four members of the walton family, their net worth, $122 billion, losing more than $11 billion in a single day. walmart losing out to amazon and other online merchants. abc's chief business correspondent rebecca jarvis on what it all means for you, the american shopper. >> reporter: tonight, bad news for investors could be the ultimate gift to shoppers this holiday season. walmart stock hit again today after wiping out $21 billion in value earlier this week. the world's largest retailer facing cut-throat competition from online giant amazon. and that means even deeper discounts this christmas. >> they've had to be very aggressive on price. they've had to focus on making sure that they're priced the same as amazon. >> reporter: and it's not just walmart. across the board, retailers are competing on price. as soon as one cuts prices, everyone else follows. many already offering everything from layaway to price matches to friends and family discounts.
experts even predicting 30% to 40% discounts will soon be standard fare. >> as we get closer to the holiday and certainly after christmas, they'll be 40%, 50% off. >> really feeling the heat, walmart. because people are shopping online, more than ever. >> reporter: more than ever, david, but here's what's the interesting part of all of this. even though we are shopping more online, we're still this holiday season going to spend six times as much in stores as we do online. >> all right, rebecca, thank you. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this thursday. former nba champ lamar odom. we have new details about his condition tonight. the former star reportedly fighting for his life and you will hear the 911 call after he was found unconscious. also, news tonight for some smartphone owners. this will get your attention. the popular app that might be to blame for that drain on your battery. most of us have that app. and the space telescope, scanning the stars for signs of life on other planets. well tonight, the scientist who
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girls he had used cocaine prior to his arrival at the ranch. >> somebody just came up to me and said that he apparently had some cocaine on him, that he did this on saturday. >> reporter: spokesperson richard hunter talked with the 911 operators after lamar was found in the ranch's v.i.p. suite, telling us tonight the former nba champion's mood changed suddenly the night before. >> he did get a phone call and that phone call had seemed to bum him out. he had told the girls that he wanted to spend that night alone. >> reporter: lamar was rushed to the hospital. khloe kardashian, former teammates and his children hurried to his bedside. his daughter tweeting this picture with the caption, "please don't leave us." as of tonight, khloe and lamar's divorce has not been finalized. "people" magazine reporting that she is the one right now making all of his medical decisions. david? >> kayna whitworth tonight. kayna, thanks. when we come back here, what is draining the battery on your smartphone? it turns out it could be an app that many of us have. got our attention today. also, the major airline whose name we might never see again. the last flight about to be flown tomorrow.
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"cat" and "baby." >> oh, put on head. oh. there's a kitty on her head. yes. that's what you wanted. >> reporter: she learned sign language from her human co compani companion, dr. penny patterson. they've been the best of friends ever since. over the years, this gorilla celebrity has shared a giggle with robin williams. and expressed sadness when they told her williams had died. now, 44 years old, koko is bridging the species barrier again. david wright, abc news, new york. >> koko and the kittens tonight. and thank you for watching. i'm david muir. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. good night. >>. flood waters gushing through a southern california community. cars, stuck in the mud. north bay commute, halted. a car catches fire on the golden gate bridge making the commute a mess. the complicated clean up in
the bay area to fix this growing sink hole. a protest is underway on market street after two police officers were injured this morning during a deadly confrontation. breaking news from the golden gate bridge, taking a look from our sutro tower cam. 1 northbound lane just reopened after all lanes were shut down during the height of the evening rush hour because of a car fire. this is a live look you're seeing here from our sutro cam. >> they look like they're a dead stop at this point. here is why. this photo was posted on twitter from a driver showing the black smoke coming from the car that caught fire around 5:30. so figure, 30 minutes ago. it's not clear how the car caught fire but there is video showing smoke from the fire.
you can see on the screen, flashing lights on the span. some northbound lanes heading to the golden gate bridge were shut down but just reopened moments ago. the chp says they had to close the lanes until they knew the fire was not going to spread. you can get updates throughout the next hour on this newscast as well as on twitter abc7 news bay area, good evening, everybody, i'm larry beil. >> i'm ama daetz. now, we get to our other top story out of southern california. powerful images showing a major mudslide in the angeles national forest. trees, and homes were wiped out by a wall of mud. taking a look overhead, search teams are scouring parts of lancaster and lake hume for drivers who may be stuck in